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Why 7 days for Creation?

 
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Jan, 2008 05:59 pm
Chai wrote:
anyway...I read several theories of why 7 days on google.

One I like was a day each for 5 planets plus the earth and sun.

Yeh, I saw that one too. The fact that the week days are named after planets seems to fit. In addition, 7 divides into a lunar cycle fairly closely, so maybe it worked for more than one reason.

It seems that the biblical creation story was made to fit the 7 day week, and not the other way around. Apparently god had to fit everything into a work week.
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vikorr
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Jan, 2008 06:26 pm
Don't forget that the bible creation story was likely around a long time before the bible was written.
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rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Jan, 2008 06:40 pm
vikorr wrote:
Don't forget that the bible creation story was likely around a long time before the bible was written.

So which do you suppose came first, the story (with 7 days), or the week (with 7 days)?
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Chai
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Jan, 2008 07:09 pm
rosborne979 wrote:
vikorr wrote:
Don't forget that the bible creation story was likely around a long time before the bible was written.

So which do you suppose came first, the story (with 7 days), or the week (with 7 days)?


That's a good question too.

I'm thinking man very early on observed the lunar cycle, and obviously used it to mark periods of time.
But, I suppose sometimes 28 days were just too long to measure things, like when someone was going to come back, or what progress was made on a task.

To me it would seem natural to divide the lunar cycle in half, from new moon to full moon, 2 weeks. Then, halved that again.

At the same time, people recognized the moon god, sun god, etc.

Perhaps while observing the cycles of sun and moon, they realized its power, how things like celestial bodies were the only thing that kept to a pretty strict schedule, changing only slowly from season to season. That regularity would seem godlike.
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spendius
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Jan, 2008 07:17 pm
You lot will go with any crazy idea as long as you can avoid the simple fact that it has been intelligently designed.

What bothers you is the "how". You can't accept that the "how" is beyond you. Over your heads.
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spendius
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Jan, 2008 07:25 pm
contex-

I read your link. It made me laugh. Not uncontrollably but it was heading in that direction.
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solipsister
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Jan, 2008 07:32 pm
Re: Why 7 days for Creation?
rosborne979 wrote:
From a historical and astronomical perspective, is there any significance to why the standard biblical creation story involves 7 days? Why 7 days in particular?

Much of the bible seems to be based on various astronomical events and on pre-existing stories from various religions, so I'm wondering if there is something special (or historic) about 7 Days.


Exquisite question rosborne979.

Put a shilling on the sun, moon and 5 visible planets for me (coincidentally forming a quarter of the lunar cycle).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Week
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jespah
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Jan, 2008 07:47 pm
7 days = a recognizable piece of the lunar cycle. The Jewish calendar is a modified lunar one (we do a leap month every few years, just so that we don't end up having summer during winter).

The number 7 is considered mystical and I think vikorr is onto something re dividing creation into six fairly determinate parts.

Finally, the day of rest? It's not so much rest that was invented, but the Sabbath. It's the oldest holiday in Judaism and preempts most of the others, e. g. for the day or days of Chanukah that fall on the Sabbath, you light the Chanukah candles first on Friday and last on Saturday, so as to not interfere with the Sabbath. Lighting the Chanukah candles is considered "work" so it's not supposed to be done (e. g. lighting a fire). Yes, I know that candles are lit on Shabbos and of course that's lighting a fire but what can I tell ya? The whole practice can get very weird if looked at too closely.

But the Sabbath was developed for a lot of reasons, to give free people rest, to give slaves rest, to give animals rest, and even to give fields rest (every seven years, fields are supposed to lie fallow).
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neologist
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Jan, 2008 09:01 pm
vikorr wrote:
Quote:
As ridiculous as it would be, for an omnipotent being to need "rest", I consider the 7th day to be part of the creation sequence, even though it was a day of "rest" (whatever the heck that means).


What did he create on day 7?

Day 7 is certainly part of the creation story.
Nowhere does it say the seventh day has ended. And, if you take into account the likelihood that the creative 'days' were simply 'eras' or time periods, as in the expression 'my grandfather's day', it makes sense. There are other references to this idea in the scriptures. Of course, if you don't give credence to the bible, you would miss their point.
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rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Jan, 2008 09:13 pm
neologist wrote:
vikorr wrote:
Quote:
As ridiculous as it would be, for an omnipotent being to need "rest", I consider the 7th day to be part of the creation sequence, even though it was a day of "rest" (whatever the heck that means).


What did he create on day 7?

Day 7 is certainly part of the creation story.
Nowhere does it say the seventh day has ended. And, if you take into account the likelihood that the creative 'days' were simply 'eras' or time periods, as in the expression 'my grandfather's day', it makes sense. There are other references to this idea in the scriptures. Of course, if you don't give credence to the bible, you would miss their point.

And if you give excessive credence to the bible you will make a point where there isn't one.

But in any case, I was hoping to keep this thread from falling into the looney bin Neo. I'm interested in historical or celestial (or any other) influence which may have contributed to the myth. I'm not interested in trying to twist the myth to fit reality (that's been done in too many other threads already).
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InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Jan, 2008 09:22 pm
spendius wrote:
You lot will go with any crazy idea as long as you can avoid the simple fact that it has been intelligently designed.

What bothers you is the "how". You can't accept that the "how" is beyond you. Over your heads.


Yeah, it's seven days cuz God made it that way, and that's that.

Let's go get drunk.
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neologist
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Jan, 2008 09:28 pm
In the assumption of myth, you may have mythed the point. Those who wrote the bible had no problem understanding the generalized application of the word 'day'. And the application of the word seven is known to be associated with God's perception of earthly completeness. Search any concordance for the words seven and seventy and you will see what I mean.
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rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Jan, 2008 09:36 pm
neologist wrote:
In the assumption of myth, you may have mythed the point. Those who wrote the bible had no problem understanding the generalized application of the word 'day'. And the application of the word seven is known to be associated with God's perception of earthly completeness. Search any concordance for the words seven and seventy and you will see what I mean.

You're arguing about the length of a "day", not about the number of them. Or are you now going to tell me that "seven" doesn't really mean "seven".

And what would you or anyone else know about "God's perception" of anything.

If I mythed the point, then maybe you can speak more plainly.
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neologist
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Jan, 2008 09:56 pm
Point made and well taken. All I was trying to get across is that the creative day was not a literal 24 hours. Seven is the number most often mentioned in the bible. I couldn't begin to speculate on why it is important except perhaps as it may be used as a reference to us. When Peter asked Jesus if he should forgive seven times, Jesus answered 'seventy seven' (Matthew 18:22), apparently an expansion of the number to indicate that we should keep on forgiving.

Compare that to the number six, one short of seven, and the number 666, in Revelation.
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rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Jan, 2008 10:59 pm
neologist wrote:
Point made and well taken. All I was trying to get across is that the creative day was not a literal 24 hours.

And I get that point, but it seems beside the point (since I wasn't asking how long a "day" was in the bible).

neologist wrote:
Seven is the number most often mentioned in the bible.

Then I guess I could expand my original question to ask, "why is seven the number most often mentioned in the bible", since the same answer might also explain the original 7 days.

neologist wrote:
I couldn't begin to speculate on why it is important except perhaps as it may be used as a reference to us. When Peter asked Jesus if he should forgive seven times, Jesus answered 'seventy seven' (Matthew 18:22), apparently an expansion of the number to indicate that we should keep on forgiving.

Compare that to the number six, one short of seven, and the number 666, in Revelation.

So you're saying that the reason there are 7 days in the creation story is because the number 7 is important in the bible, but you can't speculate on why it's important, other than to guess that it has something to do with us.
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neologist
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jan, 2008 01:03 am
rosborne979 wrote:
neologist wrote:
Point made and well taken. All I was trying to get across is that the creative day was not a literal 24 hours.

And I get that point, but it seems beside the point (since I wasn't asking how long a "day" was in the bible).

neologist wrote:
Seven is the number most often mentioned in the bible.

Then I guess I could expand my original question to ask, "why is seven the number most often mentioned in the bible", since the same answer might also explain the original 7 days.

neologist wrote:
I couldn't begin to speculate on why it is important except perhaps as it may be used as a reference to us. When Peter asked Jesus if he should forgive seven times, Jesus answered 'seventy seven' (Matthew 18:22), apparently an expansion of the number to indicate that we should keep on forgiving.

Compare that to the number six, one short of seven, and the number 666, in Revelation.

So you're saying that the reason there are 7 days in the creation story is because the number 7 is important in the bible, but you can't speculate on why it's important, other than to guess that it has something to do with us.
Probably should have said 'reference for us'. Seven is often used to signify completeness - seven times around Jericho - Naaman bathed seven times in the Jordan, etc. Six, by comparison would signify something lacking. This seems to explain the use of the number 666.

Numbers may be literal or symbolic. You will have to discern for yourself.
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rockpie
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jan, 2008 04:40 am
i can see how cyracuz could relate the meaning of day into this debate.

the initial question was why 7 days?

but it wasnt 7 days at all. day is just the closest translation to the hebrew word yom, which is closer to meaning a period of time.

so everything was made in 7 periods of time, not days.
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jan, 2008 05:19 am
I was looking up the concept of a week and got lost in SUmerian topology, for which I had absolutely no interest n pursuing any further. I found that , for our calendar, that Leap years that begin on a Wednesday, have 53 weeks in that year rather than the normal 52.

When civilization needed to make up a concept of a Creator God, Id imagine that the concept of "week " as a distinct unit of time recall was in use for some other reason.

I like the SUmerian symbol of the hexagon, which was a drawing of six circles with a center circle included in the shape, thus forming a very stable shape that is repeated in nature (bee hives, volcanic basalts, flower whorls, crystals, etc).



This is just a bm while still trying to be helpful.
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Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jan, 2008 05:39 am
I dont know why 7 was "chosen" probably in honour of the seven gods.

The Jacobins messed around with the days of the week and the months. They tried to metricate it all, but couldnt get 7 days to fit in centimetres.

The Bolsheviks did something similiar I believe.

Anyone here getting nostalgic for the former Soviet Union? (besides Spends obviously)
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jan, 2008 07:09 am
Remember seven is a Prime Number and Prime Numbers have great significance to mathematically tidy minds.
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